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From fluctuations in the U.S. real estate market to the causes and consequences of traffic congestion and suburban sprawl to the workings of a two-party democratic political system, Anthony Downs's career as an economist has been grounded in the principles of choice, rationality, and market forces. His work has been important to a broad spectrum of audiences, including academics, public policy makers, and corporate decision makers. Rooted in economic assumptions, Downs has hypothesized how and why people and institutions make decisions about property, development, politics, and transportation and has pointed to the likely consequences of these decisions.

Downs, born in 1936, received a PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1956. The following year he published his dissertation, An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957) and, a ...

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